Since the late nineteenth century hundreds of people, on behalf of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, have searched for what it means to be human, studying the infinite variety of human cultures.
The Museum's extensive collections provide vital clues in this quest. For the first time curators and Museum staff present more than 220 of the most intriguing and beautiful objects from such sites as Nippur, Thebes, the Amazon, Sitio Conte, Ur of the Chaldees, Borneo-all resonating with an eloquence that recalls the curiosity that drove the Museum and its founders and continues to drive its contemporary researchers after more than 350 international expeditions.
The objects selected-from African to American to Asian, from Babylonian and Near Eastern to Egyptian, Oceanian, and Mediterranean-are important even beyond their immediate, individual aesthetic.
The depth of information recovered when they are examined in their original contexts allows experts and lay readers to reconstruct the many stories, large and small, that constitute the shared lives and heritage of humanity.